Van Travel
A Frugal Lifestyle A Frugal Traveler

Vanlife/RV/Car camping Buyers Guide

Van Travel

Step 1. Determine your use case, so you can identify your ideal travel platform.


Small/Micro Vans

  • DIY low budget workable solution for cheap components for a minivan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25VBk8AOqRQ 
  • https://www.contravans.com
    • Starting at $995 for car camper kits, $3,995 for van camper kits, and $8,995 for cargovan camper kits; price includes installation in Denver, Colorado
    • Van type: Ram ProMaster City, Ford Transit Connect, Mercedes Metris, Dodge Grand Caravan. Kits for Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, and Nissan NV 200 all coming soon.

Promaster City    

  • Wayfarer https://wayfarervans.com (Modular)
    • Cost: $4,696 to $8,795 depending on whether you are outfitting the larger or smaller Ram van. Items also available a la cart.
    • Van type: Ram Promaster City CARGO/Tradesmen SLT or Standard or the Ram Promaster 1500 or 2500, 136” wheelbase, high-roof top.

Nissan NV
Ford Connect

MiniVans


Sienna

https://www.freewaycamperkit.com/en/

  • Nice design, but as of Oct 2019, there is no design to keep the rear seats of a minivan.

https://gtrv.com ($5,000 – $7,000)

  • Toyota Sienna 2011 and newer

Odyssey

https://www.freewaycamperkit.com/en/

  • Nice design, but as of Oct 2019, there is no design to keep the rear seats of a minivan.

Large Vans

A good resource for the “big 3” large van’s dimensions: https://sportsmobile.com/van-dimensions/


Ford Transit

Sprinter

Dodge RAM Promaster cargo van

  • Wayfarer https://wayfarervans.com
    • Cost: $4,696 to $8,795 depending on whether you are outfitting the larger or smaller Ram van. Items also available a la cart.
    • Van type: Ram Promaster 1500 or 2500, 136” wheelbase, high-roof top.
  • https://www.cascadecampers.com/faq
    • ~$7500, all included.  Has sink, fridge, stove, everything you need, minimalistic design mentality.  Bench converts to bed.

Ford Econoline


Nissan NV

No longer manufactures, so there are limited new options here for the NV. Also its large V8 engine is the worse for MPG of the options above, but it can tow a relatively large trailer compared to other options.


Pop Top Conversions

  • https://www.coloradocampervan.com/pop-top-info
    • ($10,000-$15,000)
  • https://gtrv.com ($5,000 – $7,000)
    • Toyota Sienna 2011 and newer
    • Nissan NV 200
    • Mercedes Metris
    • Mercedes  Sprinter 144”, 170”
    • Ford Transit 130”, 148”
    • Chevy/GMC Express/Savannah 135”, 155”
    • Dodge Promaster 136”, 159”
    • Nissan NV Cargo 146”

High Top Conversion


Accessories


Other Links For More Info

Van Alternatives

Car/SUV Options

An SUV or other car can be a great alternative to vanlife, especially for just one or two people and for weekend camping.

Reliable cars to consider: https://carbuyingsupport.com/best-used-cars-to-buy/

SUV

-Some resources and inspiration:

SUVRVing on youtube is a great resource for SUV travel especially if you have a Toyota RAV4

SubOverland is a company that buys older high milage (175-200k for example) Suburbans and fixes them up for sale. The base without any bed, just a lifted suburban for overlanding starts at $5,500. Starting at $9,500 (includes vehicle), the “ichi” version has everything found in their base version, plus custom wood work in the interior.

Car

A great place to start is just camping in whatever car you already have. Some more luxurious options are a Tesla with the camping mode and also a Toyota Prius which can automatically turn on heat or air conditioning when the battery gets low, so you can be really comfortable all night.

Some interesting car accessories:

Trailers

A variety of types of trailers: https://littleguytrailers.com/

Tear drop trailers (Cute, but small inside. Typically lightweight so you can tow with a small car even).

Square drop/Typical trailers.

Scamp trailers (Around $10,000, has a good amount of space compared to a teardrop).

Pop Up Campers

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